​World Trade Center Parachuters Arrested for Manhattan Base Jump​​

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March 25, 2021

The World Trade Center parachuters, who conducted a base jump off the building in Lower Manhattan in September, have been arrested. Three base jumpers and one accomplice turned themselves in Monday.

They face charges of felony burglary, misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and misdemeanor jumping from a structure. The case is the second in two weeks arising from surreptitious stunts from the structure. A teenage boy was arrested on March 16 after authorities said he slipped through a gap in a fence, eluded an inattentive security guard and spent about two hours atop the 1,776-foot-tall tower.

World Trade Center Incidents At Lower Manhattan Site

The incidents have raised questions about security at the lower Manhattan site, which is supposed to be one of the most tightly protected in the country. The site is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The NYPD said last fall that investigators were looking for two parachutists in dark jumpsuits seen floating near the building around 3 a.m. on Sept. 30, landing by the nearby Goldman Sachs skyscraper and walking away.

It was “very exhilarating,” one of the accused jumpers, Andrew Rossig, told the Associated Press Monday as he and co-defendant James Brady headed to a police precinct to surrender.

“It’s a fair amount of free-fall time,” he said. “You really get to enjoy the view of the city and see it from a different perspective.”

Rossig, an avid BASE jumper — the acronym stands for “building, antenna, span, earth” — said the skydivers took care to keep from endangering anyone, choosing a time when streets would be largely deserted. Brady, an ironworker who formerly worked at the trade center, declined to comment.

Base Jump Arraignment

All four defendants were arraigned late Monday. Rossig, 33, is from Slate Hill, N.Y.; Brady, 32, is from Kings Park, N.Y.; Markovich, 27, is from Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and Hartwell is from East Patchogue, N.Y.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said the investigation was a joint endeavor by the NYPD and the Port Authority police.

“These men violated the law and placed themselves, as well as others, in danger,” Bratton said. “These arrests should send a message to anyone thinking about misusing a landmark this way. They will be tracked down and they will face serious charges. Being a thrill-seeker does not give immunity from the law.”

The Port Authority issued a statement late Monday calling the stunt a “lawless and selfish act that clearly endangered the public.” While not mentioning Brady by name, the statement went on to say that “one of the jumpers worked construction at the WTC and violated the spirit of respect and reverence for this sacred site that almost all connected with the WTC project feel.”

World Trade Center Facts:

  • The skyscraper, still under construction, crowns the rebuilt World Trade Center.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio has called the base jump shocking and troubling.
  • The NYPD devotes more than 200 officers, surveillance cameras and other technology to protect the perimeter of the site.
  • Port Authority police and private security agents guard the inside parameter.

However, Rossig said the jumpers got in simply by walking through a gap in a fence, echoing an account the Port Authority says Casquejo gave police about what he did.